Egon Kaur's run of victories in the WRC Academy Cup could be over after Craig Breen completed the second day of Neste Oil Rally Finland at the head of the young driver-training category.

However, with Kaur a mere 2.4s behind the Pirelli Star Driver on Friday night, the battle for victory is far from over heading into Saturday’s closing stages.

Kaur, from Estonia, was fourth overall at the start of the day, 23.9s behind leader Alastair Fisher, but moved in front when Fisher crashed on stage seven having moved into a 28-second lead at the remote service halt in Lahti.

However, keen on maintaining his title lead rather than risking all in pursuit of a third win of 2011, Kaur opted not to put up a fight against Breen as the day drew to a close.

“It was okay today with no issues,” said Kaur. “The car was working well, but I don’t want to risk making any mistakes. When I lost my rhythm a bit on stage 11 I decided to back off.”

Breen said: “I had a better feeling than last night after we made some changes to the rear damper settings which helped this morning.”

Australian Brendan Reeves is third overnight with Dutch driver Timo van der Marel a strong fourth after surviving a fright on stage six when he was too fast over a crest.

Miguel Baldoni, from Argentina, is fifth with Italian Crugnola slipping to sixth after he lost more than two minutes stuck in a ditch on stage nine. Germany’s Christian Riedemann is seventh with Canary Islander Yeray Lemes eighth. Jan Cerny and Miko-Ove Niinemae complete the top 10.

Fisher wasn’t the only frontrunner to hit trouble. Victor Henriksson was in the fight for the podium places when he rolled on stage six. The Swede will not restart on day three, which features seven more stages.

Fredrik Ahlin dropped time on stage six when he overshot a junction and had to reverse. In the process he hit a ditch and damaged his car’s exhaust. A hefty crash forced his retirement on stage seven.

Reeves' fellow Australian, Molly Taylor, is 12th after a puncture on day one cost her time.
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